The major yolk protein precursor, vitellogenin (VTG) was detected in plasma from vitellogenic females and estradiol-17β (E2)-treated immature females, but not in males and immature females by Western blotting in common Japanese conger Conger myriaster. Its molecular mass was approximately 180 kDa under denaturing and reducing conditions. The common Japanese conger VTG cDNA was cloned from the liver of vitellogenic female. It contains 5110 nucleotides including an open reading frame that encodes 1663 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence of the common Japanese conger VTG shares 80% identity with that of eel Anguilla japonica VTG-1, and 45-55%, 32-34% and 27-29% identity with the deduced amino acid sequences of other fish, amphibian and avian VTG with polyserin domain, respectively. In female common Japanese conger, VTG gene was highly expressed in the liver of this species similar with other oviparous vertebrates. The expression levels of VTG gene in the liver increased from the oil droplet stage to the tertiary yolk globule stage and were maintained until the migratory nucleus stage. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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